Enghien Decouvert and Olympic

Découverte – Kristina, James, Paul
Olympic – Nick, Valentin, Sebastien, Richard, Paul B, Kristine, Paul S, Dan
Excuses – Matt

Enghien is known as the “Wake-up call” and acts as the first ‘real’ competition of the season – it doesn’t disappoint.

First up in the morning was the Decouverte team – Kristina, whose objective was to do the entire swim properly, and (as it was their first Triathlon) Paul and James had 1 simple objective – Survive.

But they all did more than that, K managing an encouragingly good time in the water – then, as is her style, ‘Dominating’ the bike and run, almost catching up the 3rd place in her category. When she learns to swim properly this one will be dangerous.

Paul and James were relatively evenly matched and made a good competition of it between them, until James (with perhaps slightly younger legs) managed to pull away on the run. Finishing only 10 secs in front of Paul, and all 3 finishing in the top half of the list ;-)

The sun decided to really get up for the afternoon session, and the boys (plus Kristine) knew they were going to be in for a scorcher.

The most painful part of this triathlon was walking barefoot to the swim start – some Genius in public office had decided to have the area resurfaced, but in what was clearly a budget orientated decision they used some horrible black tar, that held the heat and was sharp. Which meant to and from transition barefoot was nasty !

As usual the team were the last to enter the water, Dan not helping matters by putting his wetsuit on back-to-front, then Richard thinking he was cool and somersaulting off the board into the water. (he wasn’t)

Everyone was barely in the water when the gun went, bodies got into motion and the water churned a murky colour. The lake although big and deep enough, is not that big or deep, which makes the opening 500m a free for all, taking advantage of this Nick got in the middle and never looked back. Kristine on the other hand decided as she couldn’t see what was underneath her, she would backstroke the entire 1.5km – in reality she was just working on her tan !

Nick out first then, a good 4 mins ahead of Seb, with Rich and Kristine out of the water together just behind. Although he is making improvements on the swim, Betts left the water a full 12 mins behind Nick, but for the first time ever he wasn’t last, thanks to Dan !

The cycle is the key to this race, a real nasty climb – every time you think you are at the top, you turn and there is more – then you realise you have to do it 3 times ! There is potential to ‘lap’ people while doing the loops so you never know where you are. No major changes in team positions, although Valentin managed to catch Richard up, and as they came into T2 they looked close (in fact I think they were holding hands) Betts had a good ride, but was still way back thanks to the swim, and Paul S put in a very strong bike ride to keep him in contention.

The run is where you find out if you pushed too hard too early or not. Valentin quickly stopped holding hands with Rich and set about catching up Seb in 2nd place. For Rich it was all about holding on as Betts was putting in his characteristic strong performance on the run. Kristine was in ‘just get round’ mode, and Paul S confirmed he had pushed too hard too early. For his first time at the distance Dan was learning what his body could do, and although bringing up the rear put in a good run.

Nick finished a comfortable 14mins ahead of Val, who had managed to overtake Seb on the second lap. Seb’s Ironman training obviously catching up with him, but he still finished ahead of Rich who (just) managed to stay ahead of Betts. Kristine, Paul S and Dan all soon crossed the line too, everyone was exhausted and hot and wanted to go jump in the lake again – perhaps next year they will let us ;-)